Sanford Ferris Golf Course Design has been selected to renovate historic Cavalry Club in Manlius, N.Y. Course architect David Ferris returns home to the Dick Wilson/Joe Lee design where he learned to play golf. He will bring back much of the course architects’ original design philosophies. Construction begins early July.
Ferris’ family has been part of the fabric of the club dating back to his uncle being one of the charter golf members and his dad being a golf professional there in the 1970’s. As a little kid he ran around the pro shop, played in the adjacent woods and creek, and eventually participated in junior tournaments during his high school years.
“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to return home to Cavalry, a place that holds so many wonderful memories and where golf became a part of my life”, Ferris said. “When I played Cavalry as kid, I had no idea who Dick Wilson and Joe Lee were, but I’m convinced that my fascination with golf course design and Wilson’s work is rooted in that early immersion. I’ve never been more excited about a restoration project.”
Ferris will spearhead the project that encompasses rebuilding/restoring all bunkers, reintroducing short cuts and collection areas around greens, restoring fairway cuts/widths in landing areas, and tree clearing to bring back the feel of the original layout. Future phases will include tee renovation, additional tree clearing for turf improvement, adding native fescue areas, drainage, improvements to the practice area, and creating a short game venue.
Calvary Club opened June 26, 1965, and was the final layout for the iconic Wilson, who passed away shortly afterwards. The layout was deeply immersed in Wilson’s philosophy, replete with flanking fairway bunkers, green complexes with large putting surfaces typically surrounded with strategic bunkers. The course also represents the beginning of Lee’s storied career, with this being his first solo project routing the course and supervising construction.
Carved into rolling farmland just outside of Syracuse, Wilson and Lee laid out a classic design on land that once served as home to a cavalry troop in the early 1900’s following the Spanish-American War. The troop then evolved into Company D of the 104th Machine Gun Battalion, a unit of the 27th Division, NY National Guard. The troop was sent to Peekskill, N.Y., to guard the aqueduct providing New York City’s water supply from possible sabotage during World War I.
Photo Courtesy of Cavalry Club